Skip to main content

Yacht Design Program - Just Launched

It's a rare and wonderful thing to have three different American companies all working on new boats in the 30-foot range at the same time, let alone in such straitened times as these. And, as if to illustrate the rich diversity of boat design and construction, each of these boats is aimed at a different subset of the general sailing population.Truth to tell, one of these builders isn't
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It's a rare and wonderful thing to have three different American companies all working on new boats in the 30-foot range at the same time, let alone in such straitened times as these. And, as if to illustrate the rich diversity of boat design and construction, each of these boats is aimed at a different subset of the general sailing population.

Truth to tell, one of these builders isn't exactly a company, it's a school that trains people for careers in the technical side of the marine business. Steve Dalzell, who runs the Landing School's yacht design program, drew the LS-30, a sleek racer-cum-daysailer, to provide hands-on boat-building experience for the school's students. They build the boat in epoxy composite, and it has a carbon rig, a 10hp diesel inboard, basic but functional accommodations and a displacement hovering around 4,000 lbs. The LS-30 has had a few race outings on the East Coast and by all accounts it is a terrific sailing boat-a stiff, stable race-winning weapon under colored sails, but docile enough not to scare the family under plain sail. Beam is just 7ft 6in, so trailering is an option. The sticker price is around $95,000, including sails; the school plans to build only two boats a year, so best reserve yours early.

I've always liked the clean lines and functional attitude of the Harbor 25, the tidy daysailer built in California by W. D. Schock. Tom Schock tells me that you'll find Harbor 25s as far away as Japan and Europe, as well as tucked away in many of the country's premier sailing centers. Now the company is working on the first Harbor 30. Just as the Harbor 25 was the answer to customer requests for a Harbor 20 (the company's original daysailer) with bunks, the new 30-footer was developed in response to demands for standing headroom and more-generous accommodations.

Designed by Tom's brother Steven, the Harbor 30 fits the increasingly broad modern definition of a "daysailer," but that seems to me too confining a niche. Going by the drawings, this is a boat that I would be happy to take away for a weekend or even a week or two of solo or two-up cruising; there's a galley, an enclosed head and bunks for four. There's a choice of shoal or deep-draft keels to suit both gunkholers and performance nuts, and the signature Hoyt jib boom makes for easy shorthanded sailing.

A few years ago, Newport, Rhode Island-based designer Rodger Martin came up with a novel design for the Outward Bound school: a 30-foot sailing/rowing boat loosely based on the sharpies that once were a common sight around the shallow waters of the East Coast. Now he has revisited the concept in his new Presto 30, a shoal-draft trailerable cruising boat commissioned by the Union River Boat Company, based in Buckport, Maine.

Sharpies were typically flat-bottomed, with slim hulls and a pair of free-standing masts. Martin's take on the concept displaces a hair under 4,000 lbs and has a beam of 8ft 5in. It will float in just over a foot of water and has a swing keel and kick-up rudder. The carbon spars with their wishbone booms weigh 40 pounds apiece and can be stepped by two people. They're sealed for extra flotation, and fit within the boat's length for trailering. This is a camper's boat; the cockpit seats are long enough to sleep on, the stove can be used in the cabin or in the cockpit, and headroom is achieved with a pop-top.

There's a choice of powerplants, from a retracting outboard to an electric drive. As far as sailing performance goes, the Presto won't outpoint a fixed-keel boat, but Martin says it will embarrass plenty of bigger boats off the wind. This is not surprising, given the sporty look of the almost square-topped sails. All in all, this is one of the more versatile designs I've seen in a long while. Including sails, but not a trailer, the Presto's sticker price is a reasonable $85,000.

Martin has a number of high-performance ocean-going boats in his portfolio, but the Presto really seems to have captured his imagination. By the time you read this, hull #1 will be in the water (look for it at the Annapolis Sailboat Show) and being enjoyed by her new owners-one of whom is none other than Rodger Martin.

RESOURCES

The Landing School

www.landingschool.org

W. D. Schock Corporation

www.wdschock.com

Union River Boat Company

www.unionriverboat.com

Related

00-LEAD-210918_11HR_AZIMUT48HRS_AMO_00411

11th Hour Racing Team's Green Mission

“I’ll admit, it’s still hard to watch the boat leave the dock sometimes,” says former Volvo Ocean Race sailor Mark Towill. Since meeting during a Transpac campaign over 15 years ago, he and his teammate Charlie Enright have sailed thousands of miles together aboard two Volvo ...read more

D61_JKELAGOPIAN-3

Boat Review: Dufour 61

Dufour, long one of France’s most well-respected builders, has been producing sailboats in La Rochelle since the dawn of fiberglass boatbuilding. Having recently merged with another La Rochelle-based builder, Fountaine Pajot, Dufour has now joined other European mass-production ...read more

m138123_14_00_210609_TORE02_SE_2152_2504-2048x

The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean ...read more

01-LEAD-Ancients-3-2048x

Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the ...read more

01-LEAD-Tablet-Holder-4

Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, ...read more

00-LEAD-AdobeStock_486335954

A Catamaran for a New Era

Anacortes, Washington, is an unassuming sea-salty town near the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and the Betts Boats yard is easy for a passerby to miss. But within Betts’ facilities, the dawn of an era in Pacific Northwest production boatbuilding could be breaking with the ...read more

X5_plus_slide-01

Boat Review: Xquisite X5 Plus

The Xquisite X5 Plus is a major update of the boat that SAIL awarded Best Large Multihull and Best Systems titles in 2017. The changes were not just cosmetic, but genuine improvements to an already fine boat, making it lighter, faster and less dependent on fuel. The builder’s ...read more

01-LEAD-AdobeStock_40632434

Cruising: Offshore Prep Talk

When I began preparing Minx, my 1987 Pearson 39-2, for extended Caribbean cruising, I had to balance my champagne wish list against my beer budget. Every buck spent on the boat before leaving would be one less frosty can of Carib down in the islands. On the other hand, I had to ...read more